Finance Finance News Origin Energy profit down
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Origin Energy profit down

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Origin Energy has increased net profit by 40 per cent and says the looming start-up of its large gas project this year will increase cash flow by $US1 billion.

Origin, Australia’s largest utilities company, made a full year net profit of $530 million, up from $378 million in 2012-13.

It’s final unfranked dividend was unchanged at 25 cents a share.

Excluding one-off effects, Origin’s underlying profit fell six per cent to $713 million amid a fall in electricity sales and consumption from households.

Origin said its priorities were changing with its energy markets businesses were maturing and operating in a consolidated, lower growth and more competitive environment.

It’s investment in energy generation and retail systems was essentially complete and its focus for the next two years would be on its $24.7 billion Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project due to come start producing this fiscal year and improving returns.

“Increasing LNG production will result in expanding gas margins and an improving supply/demand balance in electricity markets,” it said.

The cash flow from APLNG would contribute a step change in earnings that would allow Origin to increase dividends, it said.

Origin also announced on Thursday that its flagged $1 billion capital raising using ordinary shares would be replaced by hybrid securities, which combine debt and equity characteristics.

The cash raising will be used to fund its recent Browse Basin gas interest acquisition.